Winter is in full swing here, and with each passing day I can feel my credibility in all conversations meteorologic steadily increasing. Just in this last week, I’ve walked through Chicago’s 5th worst blizzard (only thinking i was going to blow away and die twice), helped push a stuck car out of the snow, and had 3 (count ’em, 3) spontaneous snowball fights (update from last post. can confirm, they are one of life’s greatest joys). Oh yeah, and I also made a serious dent in my unacceptably large yarn stash, making a quick visit back to my Gryffindor cowl, but this time representing the house of Salazar Slytherin (actually false. slytherin’s colors are emerald and silver.).
Fun fact: I bought this yarn with a blank check (the yarn store made a mistake and forgot to write in an amount on my gift certificate!), and it took literally weeks for me to decide whether or not I was going to buy out the whole store. Alas, I am nothing if not conscientious (in 8th grade i forgot to turn in a science project and lied and said it was because i had an asthma attack and then i got stress pains), so I restrained myself and only bought a few skeins of green and black Cascade superwash merino.
Speaking of theft, buy my Gryffindor cowl pattern for $1.
(because it’s a steal)
I also finally finished this purple/white/light brown/dark brown striped throw/lapghan thing (not one of my prettiest projects)! I actually started this project back in August, but I forgot how much endurance it takes to knit a blanket, so there were several times when I stopped and seriously considered ditching this project as an overambitious failure (to join my bullet hat and creepy rice bunny).
Some details about this throw: The pattern is adapted from this scarf pattern and knit from a hodge-podge of types of yarn. Also, in all, this took me through 5 seasons of The Good Wife, 2 seasons of The West Wing (18th and Potomac whyyyyy), and a smattering of episodes from Sons of Anarchy (can’t keep track of all the fat racist white men in leather).
When I first moved here, many people told me that one of the worst things about the winter (other than the cold eating your face off) is the fact that it forces you to hole up somewhere for days and you can’t go anywhere or do anything. Well, 1) it’s true about the cold, it really does obliterate your face, and 2) on the contrary, I’ve actually found this winter to be one of the most eventful seasons of my life (also puberty. that was pretty eventful), mostly because it was filled with an abnormal amount of good luck as well as a considerable amount of bad luck.
Here are some of the things that happened:
I went to Nashville and it was the best. Seriously, I mean it. Aside from an initial bout of misfortune (i.e. blown tire, nosebleeds, and 2 dead phones within 5 minutes), everything about my first venture into the South was oddly perfect. From strangers picking up our tab to free hot chocolates and Italian sodas (basically a ton of stuff was free) to shopping carts with what we needed already in them, everything we decided to do just seemed to work out (even my in-car performance of Poor Unfortunate Souls was especially on point). By the end of the trip, we were on such a high that we spent the entire ride back tallying up our life-wins and talking about how great we were and how no one would ever understand how great we were (7 hours and we didn’t stop talking about ourselves once).
I broke my back (kinda not really) and it was the worst. Seriously, the worst. For those of you who know me well, you know the relationship I have with my back. I love my back. I take care of my back. I judge people who don’t take care of their backs. Well, a couple of weeks ago, I threw out my back, and I spent the rest of the day hunched over leaning on my knees. The following morning, I couldn’t get out of bed. at all. It took about an hour, but I finally did get out to go to the bathroom (urinating has not been that painful since when my catheter was taken out). But then I overestimated my pain tolerance, and I fell in the hallway on my way back to bed and couldn’t get up (i have a thing with falling, i’m learning). That entire day has since become a blur of pain and shame, but loosely consists of army crawling to the area of my apartment with good reception, cold calling classmates for help, being pushed around student health services in a plus sized wheelchair, and downing ibuprofen like crazy (though as a future health care provider i must advise that only 600 mg ibuprofen should be taken every 6 hours and always with food).
That’s some crazy luck, right?! Well, as much as I’d like to say that I was the only one riding this roller coaster of ups and downs, that isn’t the case.
I actually roadtripped with 3 of my classmates, and it took the collective courage of all 4 of us to busk on the streets of Nashville (we earned 8 whole dollars and a cigarette butt!). And I absolutely have to mention Natalie, who I all but proposed to after she basically carried me to her car to drive me to the hospital. More and more, I have been realizing how often I am surrounded by friends, ready to partake in whatever (mis)fortune befalls me. And as someone who usually has few friends and always seems to get in awkward social dilemmas (everyone calls me dan and i don’t know how to make it stop), this relative popularity is surprising, but not altogether uncomfortable. Who knew getting free pralines (seriously, everyone in nashville just handed us stuff) was so much sweeter when you got them with others? And for some reason, after lying alone on my hallway floor looking for signal (and taking a quick selfie), I was so relieved to see my friends in the hospital waiting room, laughing at the irony of my situation and my complete ineptitude in operating a wheelchair.
As a hardcore, fundamentalist introvert, I uphold my love and need for cafe days and proclaim my aversion to phone calls, ice breakers, and blind dates. But friends are nice to have, too. As I’ve come to see it, they make good luck fun and bad luck, well, funny. So while I left my heart in Nashville and still get out of cars like an old man, I’m excited to see what luck I run into next.
***Most ‘thrown out’ backs are due to muscle strains and spasms, unless there is tingling in the legs and feet and loss of bladder control, in which case nerve damage is likely.